The Church of North India as a United and Uniting together is committed to announce the Good News of the reign of God inaugurated through death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in proclamation and to demonstrate in actions to restore the integrity of God’s creation through continuous struggle against the demonic powers by breaking down the barriers of caste, class, gender, economic inequality and exploitation of the nature. The series of consultations, with a view to Church Union in North India, began in 1929. Eventually on the "basis of negotiations" prepared by a series of Round Table Conferences, a plan of Church union was drawn up. A negotiating committee was constituted in 1951 by the Church bodies concerned - which were the United Church of Northern India, the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon, the Methodist Church in Southern Asia and the Council of the Baptist Churches in Northern India. In 1957, the Church of the Brethren and the Disciples of Christ also joined in the negotiations. The plan reached its fourth and final edition in 1965 and, on that basis, the Church Union in North India was inaugurated on 29 November, 1970 in Nagpur. At the last moment, the Methodist Church in Southern Asia decided not to join the union. However, the Methodist Church, the British and the Australasian have joined the Union. The concern for unity of the Church grew out of a zeal for the mission of the Church, because a divided Church could not bear witness to the one Gospel and the one Lord in a country like India with diverse religions, languages, races and cultures. Through the process of negotiations and prayerful seeking of the guidance of Holy Spirit unity was achieved in the understanding and practice of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the three-fold ministry of Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons and in the organizational structures of Pastorates, Dioceses and the Synod, Episcopacy was received and accepted as both constitutional and historic. Provision has been made for diverse liturgical practices and understandings of the divine revelation, provided that these do not violate the basic Faith and Order of the Church or disrupt the unity and fellowship within the Church.
The Church of South India is the result of the union of churches of varying traditions Anglican, Methodist, Congregational, Presbyterian, and Reformed. It was inaugurated in September 1947, after protracted negotiation among the churches concerned. Organized into 22 dioceses, each under the spiritual supervision of a bishop, the church as a whole is governed by a synod, which elects a moderator (presiding bishop) every 2 years. Episcopacy is thus combined with Synodical government, and the church explicitly recognizes that Episcopal, Presbyterian, and congregational elements are all necessary for the church's life. The Scriptures are the ultimate standard of faith and practice. The historic creeds are accepted as interpreting the biblical faith, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper are recognized as of binding obligation.
A great deal of time, skill and devotion has gone into the design of the badge of the Church of North India. The design is by Frank Wesley, the well known artist. The circle in which the whole badge is enclosed is a symbol of eternity, for it is without beginning and without end. Christians are always to line against the background of eternity. They are among those who believe and remember that behind the ebb and flow of things temporal, there stand the eternal verities." Dominating the whole design is the Cross, the universally accepted badge of the Christian, reminding us of our Saviour, from whom we take our name. It stands for self giving and self-sacrifice, for patient endurance of suffering accepted for the sake of others; and because it was the son of God who thus suffered and died for us, it is a golden cross, gold being the colour for godhead. Gold also suggests victory, reminding us that the Cross of Christ is the symbol of triumph, not of defeat. The cross is set against a background of red, the colour of blood; and this again is a symbol of sacrifice and self-giving in the service of others. Red is also in liturgical usage the colour which stands for the Holy Spirit to whom we must still look for guidance. It is in the strength of the Holy Spirit, and only in his strength, that the Church and the individual Christian can hope to obey and serve God. Behind the cross there is a lotus, dear to the heart of every Indian, the symbol of the spiritual quest of India, which we believe find its final satisfaction only in the cross, and in him who died on it. The lotus is also the symbol of purity rising in all its own pure beauty out of mud beneath the water. This challenge of Purity is reinforced by the use of white for the flower and for the circle imposed upon it, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Within this inner circle of white there is set a chalice, as used in the Lord's Supper. Therein we receive sacramentally the atoning and redeeming blood of Christ, and so it is appropriately set against a background of red. But the chalice itself is gold, for the sacrament is God's gift of his own life. The chalice is set at the very centre of the whole badge, to teach us that worship and sacrament are at the centre of Christian living. God must be the centre of our lives. The first and great commandment is to love God; and that love, coming from a creature to his Creator, must find expression in worship. But there is a second commandment: "Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself." Therefore, lest our very worship should become selfish and self-centered, we are continually to go out from the worship at the heart of our lives into the world, and use the grace we have received in the service of our fellowmen. Last, but not least, as we move out from the centre, we come back to the outer circle, and there we are given the three key words Unity, Witness, Service. The Church of North India is to seek and work and pray for the unity of all who bear the name of Christ. At the same time she has to use the unity which God has given her in order that she may more faithfully and more effectively bear witness to her faith, and may give herself to the service of all without distinction, after the example of her Servant Lord. We must be extremely grateful to Frank Wesley who gave us this splendid badge. What a wealth of meaning and teaching it has for us.
The cross is red (for life) and the lotus is saffron (for holiness). The motto comes from John 17:21 The church includes Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists and United Reformed congregations The cross represents Jesus' death for us, bringing freedom from sin. The other design in the logo is the lotus flower from India, which is a traditional picture of God being near us. The lotus grows out of mud, like the beauty and purity that can grow in our lives out of Jesus' sacrifice.
The four ends of the cross, painted in deep color indicate that it is the cross that guides all members inside and outside to join in one stream to pray and labor united for a peaceful coexistence and communal harmony. It is said that the world waits for the true interpretation of St. John's gospel from an India mystic. Our logo bridges the gap to certain extent! Saints, prophets, philosophers, theologians still unborn may yet produce many more to whom perhaps in a greater measure that before the truth of God will be revealed and through them to the whole world. If August 15th of 1947 was a red-letter day in the history of our country for on that day was born a free and independent India, September 27th of the same year was another red-letter day in the history of the Christian Churches for on that day was born Church of South India. Never in the history of the world in one country have two great events of such far reaching importance occurred within the span of less than two months. It is providence that the Church of South India was born free indigenous and autonomous in the same year as the country attained its political freedom. We have now come to a stage where we begin to perceive the true nature of the responsible unity we have sought for. Any union is an ongoing process of growing together into perfect unity, transcending some of the barriers and overcoming the difficulties that come in the way. Living together and working together with a sense of mission is an art, which the church has mastered through its able leaders, and no doubt we have crossed more than half a century successfully. But let us not forget that the unity is the gift of the Spirit. It is not what we have created or achieved but the sphere of life into which we were drawn by the spirit. Church is a complex of personal relationships. Life in the church is life together. It speaks of the qualities that people should possess, their attitude to one another. The symbols, the lotus and the cross, used in the logo of the church possess a rich cultural heritage, which will help us to understand our call and mission.
Lotus, a typical Indian flower, is a temple flower. According to Mythology, Lotus is supposed to be the seat of the creator. “Pankajam” one of the Indian names of lotus has a very significant meaning, it means 'that born in mud'. This flower blossom at the sunrise and withers away after sunset, in other words it lives as long as it receives the sunrays, hence it is also called 'THAMMIPUVE' the flower of the sun. All these meanings attributed to the flower suit us well to interpret the position, nature and role of the people in the bond of union. The petals of the lotus and the cross are beautifully knitted together with the fiery-tongues of the Holy Spirit. It is an authentic Indian expression of people's communion with God. The original colors, red (for life) and purple (for piety and ecclesiastical) in white backdrop implicitly communicate the nature of the mystical union, where, an inseparable companionship is established, which, again, a typical Indian thought form.The words "THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE, CHURCH OF SOUTH INDIA" are embossed in a circle round the lotus and the cross. The words are taken from the high priestly prayer of Jesus Christ who prayed not only for the 'Church' but also for the whole world. Placing the words in a form of circle, a symbol that also represents the universe portrays this universality. "That they all may be one; that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. (John 17:21)", is an inclusive affirmation which explicitly shows Christ being the center and the church, his body. Since it is also, the prayer of the Church that it is not only churches but all people of India to be united, a prayer for national integration is well taken care of in the emblem. The imposing central position of the cross in the logo conveys the idea that it was the indefatigable, selfless supreme sacrifice that was made by Jesus on the cross is the basis of the Church. Cross runs through the lotus, as it is painted; it depicts the cleansing act of the cross, working in the hearts of its members, helping to get rid of the mud in which we were born and restoring to the pristine purity.